Elections

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act mandates that cities must be completely accessible by 2025. What changes would you make to ensure Hamilton complies with this mandate?

Responses to the question: "The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act mandates that cities must be completely accessible by 2025. What changes would you make to ensure Hamilton complies with this mandate?"

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35 Candidate Responses (top)

Mayor
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Davis, Jim Yes BFA is a must in new construction so there isn't much to do with new buildings. As for existing buildings, just speed up the process.
Gomes, Carlos Yes Simply pass a law that all new construction and already existing construction has to have disability accessability.
Graydon, Edward HC N/A No response provided
Tavares, Ricky N/A How much are you going to pay me ? $100 and I will communicate with you at your basic level. Otherwise you are useless to me and Hamilton.
Wozny, Mark Maybe Accessibility is a necessity with the exception of HIstorical / Special Interest Structures.

Toronto witnessed the destruction of of some fine buildings, particularly entertainment venues when space / finances made such changes unfeasible. While in the very small minority, these buildings were monuments to creativity and aesthetics. Before taking a position, suggest we do a full survey and an adding up. Let's 'measure twice and cut once'
Yan, Nathalie Xian Yi Yes my experience in healthcare for 18 years has shown me with other practitioners share the patients best interests in healthcare regarding disability and accessibility on the daily basis . I will give praise to the City what they have done. So far. yes! I do agree we could make it better we could make a foster and more effective
Ward 01
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Allen, Jason Yes The first step in ensuring the city is AODA compliant would be to conduct an accessibility audit to see where the gaps are between where we are now and compliance. Once that is complete, it is vital that council directs the resources required to bring the city into compliance by 2025.
Anderson, Sharon Yes I have a brother who uses a wheelchair and I'm looking forward to a time when it will not be necessary to phone ahead to ensure a facility is accessible. It is my understanding that City staff are already implementing plans to meet this legislation. In addition to their efforts, I would vote to fund the report which came to Council in September 2018 to make the City's 500 facilities accessible. In addition I would seek to implement a plan to make sure all existing sidewalks at corners have appropriate curb cuts. I would also seek to implement a City wide sidewalk snow clearing program similar to the one currently used in Ancaster.
Cole, Sharon Yes I believe the key is communication and education. Many businesses, particularly small business are not that familiar with the incremental requirements and I believe the best role a Councillor can provide is helping their constituents, primarily those that provide goods and services to understand the AODA requirements, understand and manage expectations, understand the incremental deadlines and potential options that may be available to assist businesses financially to comply witch the requirements.
Eroglu, Ela Yes Every person has a right to access to municipal and city services without discrimination. The rights of persons with disabilities and their families to use of barrier-free programs, services and opportunities must be protected. Providing for these services are the responsibility of municipal governments. We should look at this issue as a human right and act as such. As councillor I will make every necessary effort to ensure that our City is a place that its policies and practices are consistent. It provides services with dignity and equal opportunities for each and every member of our community.
Geffros, Sophie Yes Under the law, the overwhelming majority of City services and spaces should already be accessible -- the legal deadline for accessible customer service and public spaces for municipalities was in 2016 (https://www.ontario.ca/page/accessibility-rules-municipalities). 2021 is the deadline for accessible web content for municipalities. In the intervening time, the city must file accessibility compliance audits every year, and may face substantial fines from the provincial government if these audits are not filed or if they do not demonstrate an AODA-compliant city. However, AODA compliance and accessibility are different things. Many areas of public life in our city are not yet accessible, or are “accessible upon request” -- from a severe lack of ramps and accessible washrooms in our parks, to lacking braille interpretation on City historical markers, to a City website that is not in compliance with accessibility standards. If these issues are not addressed, not only will the City face fines from the province, but it opens itself up to private lawsuits from disabled residents. I believe that we must go beyond the standards laid out in the Act. The Act only requires that new or substantively re-developed public spaces be fully accessible -- but our current public spaces, parks, and recreation facilities are in dire need of accessibility upgrades. It is not a coincidence that the ForWard One Participatory Budgeting Initiative frequently includes basic accessibility upgrades for City parks. All City facilities must be fully accessible. This is not optional. I will move that all City facilities be updated in compliance with AODA and that the Advisory Committee on Persons with Disabilities prepare a series of recommendations to be followed to ensure that Hamilton is not just AODA compliant, but is truly accessible.
Massie, Richard Yes I want to see practical transition plans with timelines to implement the changes necessary to meet the requirements for all facilities, transit, programs, policies, and practices.
Narducci, Linda Yes I think Hamilton is doing a good job in moving forward on complete accessibility by the year 2025. Ward 1’s Locke Street Library is currently closed for updating to accessibility. Part of the renovations are to create a barrier free washroom. Community engagement is always a good place to start in awareness to areas that need updating. It can be a challenge for those with no barriers to actually see and experience accessibility issues. Let’s encourage a feedback system where public areas that are limited accessibility are brought to the City’s attention, which make it easier to manage and address in correcting. The City could offer an accessibility audit for private businesses, or program that provides assistance in awareness or in transformation into an accessibility friendly space.
White, Harrison Yes Ensuring AODA compliance is an important task for Hamilton, as there are 1.8 million people with disabilities in Ontario. In order to draw people to our City, and to meet with our vision, to be the best city to raise a child in, we must ensure that AODA is being complied with throughout the city. This may be tough at times for the city to do, as AODA has a plethora of requirements, even including websites. In order to make sure we are on track to complete the AODA compliance, I want to evaluate the progress made on the 2013-2017 Multi-Year Accessibility Plan. Based on the results of that evaluation, I would like to propose another multi-year plan from 2018-2022. One thing I would like to improve is the amount of urban braille system, which provides valuable information to the visually impaired. Not only does urban braille assist the visually impaired ability to navigate the city, but often its implementation looks beautiful. The urban braille network in Hamilton was also an instance of community engagement, with various non-profits, regular citizens, health-care professionals, city staff, city planners, and city councillors. I believe the only way to ensure Hamilton meets the 2025 deadline is to replicate that engagement with the community, ensure we listen to the needs of the citizens and effectively respond to lodged complaints.
Ward 02
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Daljeet, Suresh Venodh Yes I believe we are well on our way to achieving this. I think we should continue to plan and make sure we are in compliance. the city has to be able to work with owners of older existing buildings to be sure we meed the 2025 mandate.
Farr, Jason Yes In a special meeting of the GIC this September, Council moved to request that the Provincial government assist in funding this important issue. While Hamilton remains a leader in making our municipally operated facilities accessible (note the recent approx. 35 million renovation of the downtown family courthouse among many accessibility projects to date), we have recently received a report that notes approx. 157 million will be needed to renovate remaining facilities to accessible standards. Of course, we are hopeful for full support from the Province, but we must also be prepared to fund locally and ultimately become fully compliant. This is one of most important features in our annual budget deliberations.

Other ward 2 examples of AODA capital initiatives: several years ago, as Councillor, I began to tackle sidewalk accessibility issues (particularly at intersections) and created a reserve to make the needed changes throughout the ward for safe crossing and navigating. In Central Neighbourhood, we are nearly through an approx. 1-million-dollar renovation of a NEW Community Centre (former City of Hamilton Carpenter Shop) at 125 Barton West; an AODA compliant facility featuring accessible washrooms and kitchen.
Kroetsch, Cameron Yes Yes, I think that we need to meet the timelines set out in the AODA . I’m strongly in support of a phased plan with a 2025 deadline and will propose that this plan be started as soon as possible. I will propose that we strictly enforce compliance with all new construction and evaluate all City of Hamilton buildings including those left out of the recent staff report. As part of that plan, I’ll also propose that the City of Hamilton undertake a business partnership to ensure that existing businesses and the City can work together to make all businesses in Hamilton accessible. We’ll also, at the same time, need to do other important things like completely integrate and connect our urban braille system, develop an accessible housing plan, ensure that sidewalks and clearways are maintained to meet not only the requirements of the AODA but the City’s own bylaws, and that we consult extensively with the accessibility community including the Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities (ACPD) and the Disability Justice Network of Ontario. Engagement on this cannot take the form of consultation with committees alone but must also take into account what ACPD has been asking for - direct engagement with residents who have disabilities.
Smith, Nicole Yes Again, one piece of the puzzle is how development is done - not merely accessible but there are opportunities to get community benefits which can include better, more accessible street design. Also the city has to have an achievable plan year by year.
Tennant, Mark Yes To be compliant to the AODA, employers and government must identify, remove, and prevent barriers for people with disabilities. Employers must be held accountable when they are not compliant. I would advocate for paid certified inspectors and the enforcement of fines to those who are non-compliant.
Ward 03
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Farr, Laura Yes From my experience working at City Hall over the last ten years, certain areas have been resistant to making those changes, or simply not had the funding to implement them. The work of the Accessibility Committee for Persons with Disabilities is very comprehensive and exhaustive in reporting where deficiencies exist. Their voices and recommendations need to be acted on, unequivocally.
Smith, Dan Yes I would do my best to see that building, especially government are fully accessible.
Sprague, Kristeen Yes As a person with a disability, I am all too familiar with the problems that inaccessibility causes for our residents and the inclusive operation of our municipal government itself. We need to make sure that public building and spaces have physical improvements made with access in mind. But that's not enough. We need to look at all of the ways in which public space, infrastructure and operations intersects with users and residents with disabilities. This means considering how factors such as poverty, gender expression, age, and radicalization can impact accessibility. This might mean taking a broad approach to accessibility that includes regular training for personnel and volunteers, regular consultation with the community and community groups of residents with disabilities, and making adjustments to city operations and space to make Hamilton more accessible to residents and visitors.
Ward 04
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Merulla, Sam Yes I led the charge to have the first special GIC related to AODA and I have worked on this file since the 90's prior to being elected. The legislation is great but unaffordable without provincial and federal support; hence the motion I sponsored accordingly that was unanimously supported.
Ward 05
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Maldonado, Juanita Yes Supporting the Advisory Committee for Peoples with Disabilities, and their efforts like providing closed-captioning for their events is a strong step toward achieving this goal. Hearing the voices of peoples with Disabilities in our Ward when they raise their concerns and efficiently and quickly responding to their requests is a step toward this mandate.
Ward 06
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Jackson, Tom Maybe AODA’s 2025 timeline will be a massive challenge that without Provincial and Federal funding support may not be achievable.
Taylor, Timothy Yes The AODA is an interesting piece of legislation. I do think to meet this goal there needs to be a huge information campaign, especially to independent business owners who might not know their responsibilities under the act.
Ward 07
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Kazubek, Joseph Yes We are obligated to ensure access to all, I do understand that this is a large undertaking and will be asking the province aswell as the federal government to assist with the cost.
MacIntyre, Dan Yes We need to be setting aside more funds to ensure compliance moving forward. The costs per intersection alone on Hamilton Mountain are astronomical. This is one of the many issues that has oft been ignored in favour of the wasted years of time our council has spent on LRT.
McMullen, Geraldine Yes As an elected official, it will be incumbent upon me, and Council of the whole, to ensure our future City Manager has the skill and ability to see this mandate and many more, through to their completion. We will also need to ensure our City staff has the information and training to comply with the AODA’s mandates and remain on track to creating an accessible city where anyone who has a disability has better access to our community.
Pauls, Esther Maybe Nice and necessary to have but the cost of renovating existing building’s is very expensive This should be paid for off of income tax.
Ward 12
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Scime, John Yes There are wide arrays of AODA compliance regulations that the city needs to catch up on (not including transit accessibility, which is a problem in its own). When I speak of incremental solutions, this is very close to what I mean. There have been opportunities to chip away at each variable and we continue to “wait” until we are forced to comply. I believe that we do have a responsibility to be a part of the solution, but do not believe we should be the only government body to shoulder the capital costing. Residents fall under all three governments, but the municipality could ultimately be left funding all operational costs to implement hundreds of millions of capital costs. This is too much to ask of a municipality that could use it on funding on programs and projects that the Province is cutting.
Ward 13
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Gelder, Rich Yes This starts with public transit. We need to move fast and get going on light rail transit, which presents the biggest opportunity for accessible transit with ground level boarding. Further, we need fund the HSR and DARTS, in particular, so as to increase the frequency and response time of these services.
Mitchell, Pamela N/A Declined to answer
Ward 14
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Iszkula, Robert Yes Our city has a long way to go and I will work toward allocating budgets to ensure that people of all abilities have complete freedom of mobility here. Our buses are accessible, but getting to the bus stop is difficult. I support an increase in sidewalk widths - currently two people walking cannot pass without turning sideways in most areas. I also want to see a new standard in driveway ramps so that they do not take up most of the waking area with a slanted section making it difficult for mobility devices, strollers, and even pedestrians walking - especially in winter.
Whitehead, Terry Yes The city of Hamilton currently has a strategy to come into full compliance with the AODA standards by 2025. Some of these investments are major and we clearly need provincial financial assistance to accommodate. AMO (association of municipalities of Ontario) has taken a strong position that to accommodate the provincial legislation, the province should be providing dollars to assist municipalities to meet these targets.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total
Yes2982.9%
No00.0%
Maybe38.6%

68 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Mayor
Eisenberger, Fred
Geissler, Henry
May, Todd
Pattison, Michael
Rusich, George
Ryerson, Phil
Schmid-Jones, Ute
Sgro, Vito
Ward 01
Bakht, Syed
Geertsma, Jordan
Lazich, Carol E.
Miklos, Lyla
Wilson, Maureen
Ward 02
Chiarelli, Diane
Unsworth, James
Vail, John
Ward 03
Balta, Milena
Beck, Keith
Bureau, Alain
Denault, Steven Paul
Kavanaugh, Brendan
Kuruc, Ned
Lemma, Tony
Nann, Nrinder
Rowe, Stephen
Salonen, Amanda
Ward 04
Douglas, Rod
Ward 05
Collins, Chad
Klazinga, Stewart
Ward 06
Young, Brad
Ward 07
Benson, Steve
Clarke, Steve
Clowater, Kristopher
Dirani, Adam
Grice-Uggenti, Karen
McColl, Jim
Schneider, Roland
Ward 08
Adams, Eve
Climie, Christopher
Danko, John-Paul
Ruddick, Steve
Simpson, Anthony
Wicken, Colleen
Ward 09
Clark, Brad
Conley, Doug
Ford, David
Lanza, Peter
Multani, Lakhwinder Singh
Ward 10
Beattie, Jeff
Milojevic, Louie
Pearson, Maria
Thompson, Ian
Ward 11
Johnson, Brenda
Shewayhat, Waleed
Ward 12
Bell, Mike
Ferguson, Lloyd
Marley, Kevin
Reis, Miranda
Ward 13
Bonomo, Gaspare
Gray, Kevin
Mykytyshyn, John
Roberts, John
Vanderbeek, Arlene
Ward 14
French-Sanges, Roslyn
Samuel, Vincent
Wilson, Bryan
Ward 15
McKechnie, Susan
Partridge, Judi